Cover image for The Britons
The Britons
Snyder, Christopher A. (Christopher Allen), 1966-
Publication Information:
Malden, MA : Blackwell Pub., 2003.
Physical Description:
xvi, 331 pages : illustrations, maps ; 24 cm.
Personal Subject:

Format :


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DA140 .S73 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

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This book provides a fascinating and unique history of the Britons from the late Iron Age to the late Middle Ages. It also discusses the revivals of interest in British culture and myth over the centuries, from Renaissance antiquarians to modern day Druids.

A fascinating and unique history of the Britons from the late Iron Age to the late Middle Ages.
Describes the life, language and culture of the Britons before, during and after Roman rule.
Examines the figures of King Arthur and Merlin and the evolution of a powerful national mythology.
Proposes a new theory on the Anglo-Saxon settlement of Britain and the establishment of separate Brittonic kingdoms.
Discusses revivals of interest in British culture and myth, from Renaissance antiquarians to modern day Druids.

Author Notes

Christopher A. Snyder is Associate Professor of European History and Chair of the Department of History and Politics at Marymount University in Arlington, Virginia.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

Snyder (Marymount Univ.) has written an engaging introduction to what is currently known of the British people from the late Iron Age to the Middle Ages, beginning with the earliest archaeological evidence for settlement of the Isles, through the Celtic, Roman, and Saxon times, and the Norman Conquest. The focus is on the British Celts of Great Britain, and Snyder is primarily interested in how those people came to dominate the isles until they were themselves dominated, first by the Saxons, then the Normans. The book is broken down into discreet chronological sections. The final part deals with the impact of the Normans and British on each other, with particular emphasis on the campaigns of Edward I in Wales. Snyder also examines how British literature served to tie the British people together with a common heritage in the face of foreign domination. This is a concise, clearly written, and well-researched book suitable for many different levels, from general readers and undergraduate students through researchers and faculty. The bibliography is extensive, the maps very helpful, and this reviewer found the "Chronology of Events" very informative, along with the table in chapter 12 detailing the linguistic developments of the Celtic languages. ^BSumming Up: Highly recommended. All levels and collections. D. M. Hall Lake Erie College

Table of Contents

List of Platesp. xi
List of Figuresp. xii
List of Mapsp. xiii
List of Tablesp. xiv
Prefacep. xv
Abbreviationsp. xvii
1 Who are the Britons?p. 1
Britons and the Great Celtic Debatep. 1
Historiography and Methodologyp. 6
Part I Romans and Britonsp. 9
2 The Late Pre-Roman Iron Agep. 11
The Earliest Britonsp. 12
Hallstatt and La Tenep. 13
The Belgaep. 16
Oppida and Proto-urbanism in Britainp. 17
Caesar and the Britonsp. 19
British Tribes and the Rise of the Catuvellaunip. 24
3 The Roman Periodp. 29
The Claudian conquestp. 30
British Client Kingsp. 34
Caratacusp. 36
Boudicap. 39
Military expansion and Romanizationp. 43
Organizing the Britonsp. 47
Farming and Rural Settlementp. 49
Language in Roman Britainp. 49
Religionp. 52
4 Late Roman Britainp. 54
Military and Political Eventsp. 54
Towns Great and Smallp. 63
Hill-forts and the Native Aristocracyp. 65
Forts and Foederatip. 66
The Picts and the Scotsp. 67
Britons Abroadp. 70
The British Tyrantsp. 71
Part II The Brittonic Agep. 73
5 Britons and Saxonsp. 75
Sources and Evidencep. 76
An Historical Narrative?p. 78
A New Model for the Adventus Saxonump. 85
The Historical Arthur Debatep. 93
Towns and Hill-fortsp. 94
Kings and Tyrantsp. 100
6 The British Churchp. 105
The Origins of Christianity in Britainp. 105
The Late Roman Churchp. 107
Pelagius and Pelagianism in Britainp. 113
Patrickp. 116
Gildasp. 121
Monasticism and the Penitentialsp. 125
The Age of the Saintsp. 128
Postscript: The Synod of Whitbyp. 134
Part III A People Dividedp. 139
7 Brittany and Galiciap. 141
Galiciap. 142
From Armorica to Brittanyp. 145
Riothamus and Sidoniusp. 149
The Breton Churchp. 151
Bretons and Franksp. 152
Brittany and the Carolingian Empirep. 153
Redon and Local Administrationp. 154
Ducal Brittanyp. 155
8 Cornwall and the Southwestp. 157
The Southwestp. 157
The Cornovii and the Dumnoniip. 160
Tintagel and Dumnonian Kingshipp. 163
AEthelstan and West Saxon Expansionp. 168
The Cornish Saintsp. 170
9 Wales and the Isle of Manp. 175
Historical Narrativep. 175
Welsh Kings and Kingdomsp. 184
The Llandaff Charters and Roman Survival in Southern Walesp. 191
Hill-forts and Tradep. 192
The Irish in Wales and Manp. 193
The Welsh Churchp. 195
10 Northern Britonsp. 198
The Parisiip. 199
The Brigantesp. 199
The Carvetiip. 203
Britons beyond the Wall: the Novantae, the Selgovae, the Damnonii, and the Votadinip. 205
British Survival along Hadrian's Wallp. 206
Elmetp. 207
Deira and Berniciap. 210
Rhegedp. 213
Gododdinp. 217
Strathclydep. 219
The 'Heroic Society' of the Northp. 221
Part IV Conquest, Survival, and Revivalp. 225
11 Normans and Britonsp. 227
Bretons and the Norman Conquestp. 228
The Marcher Lords and the First Welsh Rebellionsp. 229
Geoffrey of Monmouthp. 231
Arthur and the Plantagenetsp. 236
Gerald of Walesp. 239
Welsh Nationalism and the Two Llywelynsp. 241
Edward I and Walesp. 244
Owain Glyn Dwrp. 246
12 Language and Literaturep. 250
The Development of the Brittonic Languagesp. 250
British Latin Writersp. 256
The Bard in the Early Middle Agesp. 256
The Cynfeirddp. 258
'The Great Prophecy of Britain'p. 262
The Welsh Triadsp. 263
The Mabinogip. 263
The Breton Laisp. 266
Welsh Chronicles and Historiesp. 268
The Last of the Royal Bardsp. 269
Dafydd ap Gwilymp. 270
13 Conclusionp. 272
The Loss of Sovereigntyp. 272
Antiquarian Revivalp. 276
Nationalism, Separatists, and Devolutionp. 281
The Britons in Perspectivep. 283
Chronology of Eventsp. 289
Bibliographyp. 297
Indexp. 318